Sustainable fabric start-up wins €300,000 of H&M Global Change prize

A start-up that creates clothes from the leftovers of crop harvests has claimed the biggest portion of the 2018 H&M Global Change Award Prize.

"Crop-A-Porter," which takes the harvest remains of crops such as oil-seed flax, hemp, sugarcane, bananas and pineapples and turns it into useful bio-fiber for making textiles, has been awarded €300,000 of the €1million prize, following a public vote.

Created by innovators Yitzac Goldstein, Geof Kime and Isaac Nichelson of the US, the concept relies on a closed-loop system dubbed "The Agraloop."

"We seek to help our industry begin to decouple from cotton as the world's dominant natural fiber resource," said Nelson in a statement. "Winning the Global Change Award means we can begin to unlock huge value for the textile and fashion industry." He added: "The grant will be used for optimizing our closed-loop technology, protecting IP, and beginning to produce commercial Agraloop BioFibre fiber productions."

Earlier this month, the H&M Foundation selected five out-there sustainable fashion concepts as joint winners of its third annual competition, putting the question of how to divide the prize money to the public vote. Following "Crop-A-Porter" was Swedish recycling initiative "The Regenerator," which uses earth-friendly chemicals to gently separate and regenerate cotton and polyester blends into new, usable textile fibers. The idea was awarded €250,000 of the prize money.

The remaining three winners -- an Israeli concept called "Algae Apparel," a Belgian innovation dubbed "Smart Stitch" and a Dutch idea named "Funghi Fashion" -- will each pocket €150,000 to develop their projects. All five winners will also have access to a one-year accelerator program provided by the H&M Foundation, Accenture and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, offering the support and mentorship required to help the winners make a success of their ideas within the fashion industry.

 

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